MINOCQUA - "It seems like it was a few weeks ago that I was a freshman on this team swimming with my brother," said Lakeland Union senior swimmer Jack Garcia.
Three years have passed since Garcia was a freshman for the Thunderbirds. Now, as a senior, he leads the T-Birds, not with his brother, but instead with a friend.
"Second grade he told me 'Hey you should go to swim practice' and I was just like 'alright.' I just wanted to hang out with Jack," said Lakeland Union senior swimmer Grant Gibson.
Since then Gibson has gotten to hang out with Jack a lot.
"I've had cross-country with him for four years. We were on the tennis team for our freshman and sophomore year and then we moved to track together," said Garcia.
The two swimmers have helped the T-Birds become back-to-back conference and sectional champions. Gibson says he gives the credit to Garcia.
"He kind of dragged me along this journey and I can't thank him enough for it," said Gibson.
Now that journey has nearly reached its end as the two swimmers prepare for their last high school meet. "I can't believe it, how far we've come," said Gibson.
They've come from a couple of kids to a duo that now hopes to finish their high school careers on the state podium.
"It'll mean a lot to me to just be there on the podium with those guys and share that moment with them," said Garcia.
A moment that Gibson says he's happy he might share with Garcia as a teammate and not as a competitor. "He's bested me at most events, but I'm happy he's on my team, instead of going against him," said Gibson.
As for their coach, Chris Garcia says a few podium finishes would be the perfect ending to a journey years in the making.
"Some of these guys, I've coached since they were eight years old and we're all going to finish this part of their life down there at Madison together and send them off," said Chris Garcia.
MERRILL - A Northwoods school pulled off a big surprise on Friday to honor a few veterans. After months of planning, students and staff at Kate Goodrich Elementary got to see the payoff of all their hard work.
"It was like kind of overwhelming," said Wolfgang Lenk.
Lenk, Todd Annis, and Randy Perry had no idea they would be the guests of honor.
"To see all these kids and knowing how hard they worked selling all this, and now your name comes up that you're one of the three recipients, it was awesome," said Annis.
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
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